Thea Osbourne is thanking her lucky stars. After two disastrous housesitting incidents in which she has unwittingly become embroiled in murder and mayhem, she is only too happy to have a bit of peace and quiet. The only positive thing that has come out of her experiences, she thinks, is her blossoming relationship with DI Phil Hollis and she relishes the thought of their spending some quality time together while she helps him clear out his late aunt's cottage in the small village in which he grew up. Even meeting Phil's childhood acquaintance, the eccentric Ariadne with her abrupt manner and queer habits, cannot detract from Thea's happiness. But the bad luck that plagues the hapless Thea and her beloved spaniel Hepzibah is never far away.With autumn drawing in, preparations for Samhain, or Halloween, are well underway when Ariadne discovers a very tangible reminder of the season of death on Notgrove Barrow: a body laid out like a sacrificial victim. Unlikely companions, Thea and Ariadne find themselves thrown together as they try to uncover the events that led to the fatality. It soon becomes apparent that the cosy village has more than its share of secrets. But just how far will some go to keep them hidden...